Visitors to The National Archives may wonder how records are available to order in the reading rooms, complete with detailed descriptions and so beautifully presented.
I work in the Transfer and Access Department, but used to work as a Transfer Adviser. The Transfer team is vital to the delivery of records to The National Archives and their subsequent release into the public domain via our online catalogue, Discovery. They provide expert guidance on record transfers â the foundation for the regulated records management of The National Archives.
The easiest way to explain the process is if I describe it rather like a journeyâŠ
How records are checked
All records transferred to The National Archives complete a transit from âAâ to âBâ, where âAâ is the parent department of a given record and âBâ is The National Archivesâ repositories at Kew.
In order for records to make this journey, a Transfer Adviser must first perform a series of quality assurance checks.
A Transfer Adviser is a source of expertise that government departments draw on to ensure that accurate cataloguing is supplied to The National Archives, and that a recordâs physical preparation is of an acceptable standard to be presented in our reading rooms and preserved in our repositories. A thorough quality assessment can only be made through a full inspection of the records at the transferring department.
Following the appraisal and selection of the records by the Information Management Consultants, Transfer Advisers travel the country to where records are located to carry out physical preparation and cataloguing checks.
Travelling nationwide is certainly one of the perks of the job. It is quite a privilege and experience to witness the day-to-day goings-on at our fellow government departments. The days are long, and a typical visit requires us to rise at the crack of dawnâŠ and sometimes earlier. But if two or more Transfer Advisers attend the same visit, the moral support, combined with strong coffee, soon shakes off the 5am blues. Continue reading »